Chapter 4 – Ways To Make A Living

Zhang Haike and I were sitting in the corner of a Starbucks. He came to Hangzhou on a business trip, so he was quite busy.

The overseas Zhang family’s properties in Hong Kong had been preserved to this day. The story of how they became wealthy was like something we’d only see in a TV show. The Zhang family didn’t invest in real estate with any specific purpose in mind, but after many years and several financial crises, anyone who invested in real estate in Hong Kong became incredibly wealthy decades later.

The overseas Zhang family had no obligation to financially support the main branch, but the Zhang family’s power system wasn’t maintained by money anyway.

But during this time, if someone were to provide the living expenses of these people, the overseas Zhang family should have priority over me.

Zhang Haike and I were starting to look different. It was obvious that he hadn’t been trying hard to look like “me” for the past few years, but we still looked like brothers when we were together. He even looked a little younger than me.

“I can make some investments in Hangzhou. It’ll save us some trouble if they can support themselves. Meanwhile, you can rest assured that people from the Zhang family won’t be so poor as to have to beg for food.”

Bullshit. Look at how your patriarch is doing now, I thought to myself.

I knew that they all had abilities to make some quick money, but times had changed. The rural mountainous areas and ancient forests were gone and antique trading was very strict now. If they didn’t go down to the tombs and find goods, then they would have to deal in general antique trading, which wasn’t as easy as before.

Moreover, the post-90s generation had gradually taken the lead, so old-school social networking methods had been replaced by WeChat internet merchants. Even those who sold stinky tofu in physical stores would find it difficult to survive, let alone selling antiques in physical stores.

“Your thinking makes sense.” Zhang Haike nodded after listening to my thoughts. “Then, how about I invest in an online store?”

“Can’t you invest in something that I won’t need to worry about so much?”

Zhang Haike thought for a while. His phone kept ringing with notifications and I wondered who he was talking to. He glanced at it and his expression turned somewhat sweet.

“Are you in love? If you don’t solve my problems, I’ll have your patriarch order everyone in your clan to castrate themselves.”

Zhang Haike put away his phone, his expression turning serious again. “The Zhang family’s ancestral teachings don’t allow anyone to fail,” he said to me. “They’ll surely fail if we ask them to run a business. Plus, I heard that they insisted on building a temple and receiving incense money (1) before, which shows that they have a strong sense of autonomy. They prioritize whatever they want to do, because it’s important to them. How about this? I’ll go back and think about it for two weeks and then give you an answer.” With that said, Zhang Haike stood up and walked away. He seemed to be in a hurry to meet someone.

I found it strange. People said that when old men were in love, they loved fiercely. But his behavior was just too extreme.

I wondered what was going on. I took out my phone and looked at his WeChat moments, but he had set his account so that people could only see his posts for the past three days. As a result, anything before that was gone.


But he was right about something. These people did whatever they wanted to do.

I texted him and asked, “How about we set up an online temple for them?”

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TN Notes:

(1) When people go to temples, they put money in an offering box to show respect to the gods.


7 thoughts on “Chapter 4 – Ways To Make A Living

  1. Something I’m curious about…since Wu Xie mentions that the main branch of the Zhang family needs financial support (i.e. they’re broke), and that the overseas branch should provide that support before he does, who is he referring to? In the novel canon, are there any other main branch Zhangs left besides Poker Face and (I guess?) Wanjun Qianma? I wonder if any of our native Chinese speakers on this blog have any further info from the untranslated novels/specials? In the drama canon, I think Zhang Rishan and any other surviving members of Fo Ye’s household would count, but it looks like they’re not mentioned at all in the modern-era novels, and I think in Book 8 it also said Xie Jiuye had wiped out all of Fo Ye’s household?


    1. Zhang Haiyan has contacted the remaining forces of the Zhang family, and he is trying to make the Zhang family strong again. Anyone who is willing to help can have the surname Zhang. Wu Xie only knows the people that Zhang Haike and Zhang Haiyan know and bring with them. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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